Children should be taught how to help protect the environment. In their own small way, they could help clean any mess and preserve the beauty of the natural surroundings around the house.

When some of my godchildren visited me last week, I knew they were up to something. They usually targetted the fruit trees, climbing them without letup, eating atop while sitting on branches. Noisily enjoying themselves, all I could do was to warn them repeatedly to be careful with their almost acrobatic stunts.

“Come down here when you are finished,” I yelled down below. “I want you to do something for me.”

They were all ears because whenever I ordered them for errands I gave them money in return.

“Do you want me to buy something?” one of the older boys asked, his palm was already spread out to receive the bill. “Can I buy food, too?”

“Have you not eaten much fruits?” I asked, scratching my head.

“That’s different, Ninong,” they chorused.

“Do you see the empty bottles of cooking oil out there? Bring them to me.”

Instantly, they separated into a run, not one wanted to be outdone.

After ten minutes, they returned with their collection, almost a hundred bottles in all.

“What are you going to do with them, Ninong?” the youngest asked, curious of the seemingly playful activity.

“Well, I am going to sell them to the man going around buying junk items.”

“We have them at home, too,” they all claimed. “They are just lying around in corners.”

“Go home,” I suggested, “collect them in one spot. I will contact the junk man so he could buy them too.”

“What about the food?” the oldest of the group was not going home empty handed.

I thought for a while. If I give them money to buy food, perhaps they would not collect their junk as we agreed upon. Children knew how to take advantage of situations.

“Bring me your junk and I will buy them instead.”



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